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Male Boudoir Photographers - It's NOT a Man's World

Now I am fairly new to boudoir photography and when I say new I mean I have done a handful of shoots.  I know there are lots of guys out there who aren’t photographers at all but think wow that is so cool and what a great gig that would be. Believe me I have even heard that from a few friends. You get to photograph half naked women in lingerie, look at sexy women all day and so on. While yes this is true I photograph women in lingerie this is not what it’s all about for me, not at all!

When I am shooting a session I am not even thinking about how sexy the woman is or anything like that because I am too busy focusing on posing her.  I am making sure the lighting works for the shot and ensuring my camera settings are correct in order to make certain I get the shot as close to perfect “in camera” as possible. I really don’t have time to be concerned about the other stuff especially when I am in the zone shooting, interacting with my subject.

I know that some people would balk at that and say I am bullshitting and it must be at least part of the intrigue and interest but it really isn’t. In all honesty for me it is truly about making the women who get in front of my camera feel comfortable in their own skin.  Feel beautiful, help them build their confidence, help them love their bodies.  Ultimately I want them to be happy with the images/art I create for them and if I can do that for EVERY woman that gets in front of my camera then I know I have done my job as a photographer.  I will have helped another person to realize their self-worth and beauty and that my friends is the icing on the proverbial cake!

Photo Contests - To Submit or Not to Submit

We as photographers know there is absolutely no shortage of photo contests out there on the web, in magazines and newspapers for us to enter. Our work will be judged by random strangers and our peers in order to gain recognition and in some cases even compete for prizes and monetary gifts. The question is, which contest(s) are right for you.

Submitting your work into contests can be a great thing for photographers depending on who or which publication(s) are running them. Some of them will charge a fee per image submission and some are free to enter. It could mean great exposure for you, it just depends on what you are looking to gain through the process. I think it is a great way to start to get your name out there. Helps you get used to hearing the word “no”, accepting rejection and will give you some insight into what judges are looking for in an award winning image.

I have only ever entered into free photo contests which will not really earn you any money or prizes but I earned experience as there have been a few lessons learned along the way. A couple of times I didn’t carefully read the rules and disclaimers and this mistake cost me my artistic integrity by way of losing control and ownership of MY OWN images. One in particular that I entered, I did not win anything but by not reading everything and agreeing to enter, I gave them the right to use my work in any future instances they felt was applicable for their needs and there wasn’t anything I could do to prevent it. I have heard of other photographers that have submitted images and by doing so they gave over exclusivity rights to the companies which means the magazine has full ownership of the work and you cannot use those particular images for display or contests or sale anywhere else.

I can only hope that you learn from my mistakes in reading this post. I cannot stress enough, the importance of reading the fine print before you check that little “I agree” box and hit the submit button.

Image courtesy of blogs.adobe.com